Mental Health Emergency Action Plan (MHEAP)

Who is responsible: organisation’s medical team together with professionals in mental health.

The NCAA Mental Health Best Practice Checklist affirms that the following procedures should be included within the MHEAP:

  • establish roles and responsibilities of each entourage member;
  • where a minor is involved, designate specific approaches including the process of contacting the family;
  • establish actions after a potential emergency;
  • explanation of the mental health emergency, embedding potential sequence of the events, challenges and potential solutions;
  • emails, phone numbers of the specialists;
  • clear actions for managing mental health confusions like psychosis, paranoia, hallucination and symptoms such as attempted suicide, sexual aggressions, intoxication from drugs.

It is paramount to well communicate it throughout the organisation. Therefore, each organisation shall nominate one or more member working as a point of reference with other organisations (for example NFs with IFs).

Supporting the mental health

NutritionAlcohol and gamblingAccommodation and sleepingCommunication
Provide environments at the events with communal areas in which athletes can eat together and it is possible to check the food and beverage. 

The food and beverage shall be balanced and healthful, monitoring potential alimental constraints and/or allergies. Try to know what the athletes ingest while they go outside, for example at the restaurants, pharmacies, food markets, etc. 
During the events, if there are some bars, restaurants, and casinos inside the “bubble”; it should be guaranteed to keep away from alcohol and gambling.Athletes shall have adequate time to lie down and capable accommodations. Hotels shall not be positioned in loudly areas and the rooms shall not be exposed excessively to the light.

Sport organisations shall instruct athletes on the sleep quality and potential suggestions of enhancement.

The conversation with parents, friends can be challenged during events. Some fragile athletes (having already some mental issues such as depression, anxiety) are more at risk.

One possible solution is to provide a stable access to good wi-fi connection.